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Chamber welcomes planning consent for Caithness-Moray transmission link

Caithness Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Trudy Morris has welcomed the Scottish Government's granting of final planning consent for Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc's proposed reinforcement to the transmission network between Caithness and Moray.

The Scottish Government has granted consent for reinforcements of the overhead line network between Dounreay and Mybster in Caithness.  Last year, Highland Council granted planning permission for associated substation works at Dounreay, Thurso South and Mybster.  

The decisions mean that all planning consents are now in place for a wider package of work, forecast to be worth around £1.2bn, which is centred on the installation of a subsea cable across the Moray Firth.  The investment would unlock up to 1200MW of renewable power from the north of Scotland’s wind, tidal and wave resources.

SHE Transmission’s Director of Transmission David Gardner said:

“The Dounreay to Mybster project is a critical part of our proposed upgrade to the transmission system between Caithness and Moray.

“The upgraded overhead lines and substations in Caithness will allow the north’s renewable generators to be connected to the planned Converter Station at Spittal.  From there, High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology will allow us to transport power efficiently beneath the sea to where it is needed.

“We are grateful for the contribution a wide range of stakeholders have made to the evolution of our proposals – particularly local landowners and the wider community in Caithness.  We look forward to working closely with them to deliver this investment and to make sure local communities benefit from the jobs and business opportunities the project will bring.”

Caithness Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Trudy Morris said:

“This investment in the north’s electricity network is essential to realise the full potential of our world-leading renewable energy resources.  There is a real opportunity for a wide range of Caithness businesses to benefit from the project, particularly through SSE’s Open4Business initiative.  It’s important that businesses take the chance to secure the maximum value from this work for our local economy – by registering with the online portal at www.sseopen4business-highlands.com and getting involved.”

SHE Transmission’s proposals for the Caithness to Moray reinforcement are currently with Ofgem, the energy regulator, for consideration. Ofgem will carry out further stakeholder consultation before reaching a decision on whether to approve the necessary investment.